Health 'Every morning, I would wake up to clumps of hair all over my pillow.'

18:55  13 november  2017
18:55  13 november  2017 Source:   Mamamia

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Comedian Matt Lucas tells Mark about his early childhood and hair loss at six years old. Release date: 10 October 2017.

' I woke in the night with clumps of hair in my hands': Meet the 19-year-old woman who pulled all her hair out in her sleep and woke up bald. ' I tried that, but still I would wake in the morning to find the scarf or cap on the floor and my shredded hair scattered on my pillow .

By Madeleine Compion

I first got Alopecia Areata five years ago, when I was 29 years old. It was when my husband and I made the decision to immigrate to Australia from South Africa. Some specialists refer to this as the triggering event – a really stressful situation that may trigger the start of Alopecia.

I was brushing my hair and big clumps of hair started to fall out. Within days there was hair all over the floor. Both my mum and sister have lived with Alopecia since I was young, so I knew straightaway what it was. Not long after, I was officially diagnosed with Alopecia Areata and was left with a head full of bald patches.

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Thank God every morning when you get up that you have something to do that day, which must be done - Baal Shem Tov. A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine. - Bianca Raymond. Sometimes I cry in my dreams, and I wake up because my pillow is sopping wet.

I braid my hair for bed, either English or Dutch, alternating from time to time. I then put my braid on my pillow over my head. I always used to wake up with it plastered to my face before it was long enough to braid - had to fight with it in the morning to get a brush through.

a man wearing glasses: © supplied "How could my husband still love me with the way I looked now?" Image: Supplied.

It was devastating. I thought it would have been easier to deal with it, given I have seen both my mum and sister live with this condition. But nothing or no one can prepare you for the shock and heartache you feel with each bundle of hair falling out. There was no escaping it. Every morning, I would wake up to clumps of hair all over my pillow.

My hair was everywhere except on my head. I just wanted to pick it up and glue it back to my head. My husband kept hovering it all so I wouldn’t get upset, such a kind, thoughtful and loving act.

Not before long my eyelashes and eyebrows also fell out. Looking in the mirror became extremely confronting. It was a new face. It was like another person was staring back at me. My confidence took a huge battering. I felt like an ugly duckling. How could my husband still love me with the way I looked now?

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you can also put somecloth on yor pillow . donot over apply products. Why do some of the people feel itchiness in the morning after waking up ? I am 13 years old and my hair is thinning significantly, as my pillow always has hair on it when I wake in the morning .

Your pillow or bedding may be the issue. You may also be reacting to dust mite, mold, or animal hair , says Health Hype. The vagus nerve stretches all over the body, connecting your brain to the gut, heart, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, kidney and literally every other part of your body.

When I fell pregnant two years later, my hair started growing back and I was blessed again with a full mane of hair throughout the pregnancy. It seems that the pregnancy was good for my hair. I quickly fell pregnant with my second child so my hair remained strong.

I was so hopeful that my new hair would stay, but unfortunately, Alopecia is a roller coaster ride. Since June last year, my hair has started to fall out yet again. So I have had to go through this devastation twice.

a close up of person: Alopecia Areata is a medical condition that results in dramatic hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere in the body. Image: Supplied. © supplied Alopecia Areata is a medical condition that results in dramatic hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere in the body. Image: Supplied.

My experience so far has been that other people’s reactions to my Alopecia and the way my hair looks has been very mixed. This has often added to the distress. Thankfully, many people are tactful, but others not so much.

I think it would be better if there was more awareness about the condition. Just the other day someone commented: “oh my what have you done to your hair!’ At first I was really embarrassed but then I calmly said that I had Alopecia Areata. This person didn’t know what Alopecia was, so I explained what it was.

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What's the best thing to do if you want to keep your hair when it starts falling out? Put it in a box. I believe there should be a better way to start each day instead of waking up every morning . Anonymous.

Rub this oil on your joints and wake up without pain.

Thankfully with the support of my husband, family and friends I am slowly starting to accept this version of me and most importantly I am learning to love myself again.

It is however a journey full of ups and downs. No matter how many times I train my mind to stay positive, every strand of hair that falls to the ground, feels like a little bit of my confidence eroding. Alopecia is definitely an emotional rollercoaster ride. One day I am on top of the world and thinking this is fine, I can deal with it.

The next day I feel like hiding away from the world. It’s taken me a while but I’ve come to realise that my hair is just a small part of who I am. It does not define who I am.

It gives me the opportunity to be an example to my kids. Whatever life throws at you, you have to take it head on, accept it and move forward. Some challenges are harder and tougher than others. Slowly but surely everything will be ok.

a little girl standing next to a tree: Madeleine Compion with her two children. Image: Supplied. © supplied Madeleine Compion with her two children. Image: Supplied.

From the moment I realised that my Alopecia was back, I have been thinking of ways to make my journey more positive. So, I am going to take the bull by the horn. I am going to cut off my remaining hair during Alopecia Areata Awareness Week and be done with the falling hair and tears, but importantly use it as a vehicle to raise awareness and funds for the condition.

I am hoping that I can take this next chapter of my story and make it the best chapter ever.

You can support Madeleine’s fundraising efforts by donating to Australia Alopecia Areata Foundation here:https://aaaf.gofundraise.com.au/page/MadeleineCompion

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